Mike’s take on surfing…
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Therefore, when in Montanita, learn to surf.
I found myself in love with Montanita with no firm plans to go home, so learning to surf seemed like a sensible thing to do. How hard could it be? Having played sports to a reasonably high level my whole life, I thought this could be another way for me to exercise and have fun.
My first lesson? Stood up almost immediately. I’ve got this shit. Graduating from catching the white water onto green waves however was a much longer process. During the evenings at the bar, I’d find myself longing to watch more online video tutorials. When I wasn’t surfing or working, I spent hours watching the real surfers doing their thing at the Point during the day.
Tired? Get in the water. No waves? Get in the water and paddle. Hungover? Grow a pair, get in the water. Dead? Ok that’s a decent excuse.
Then it happened. I had a real ‘Oh, it’s supposed to feel like this’ moment. First proper bottom turn. First ride from the Point to the beach. Maybe I was becoming a surfer rather than a tourist carrying a surfboard and splashing around a bit?
People are warned about meth, crack and all other naughty things. GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING:
Surfing will take over your life; it’s that addictive. I needed to replicate that feeling as often as humanly possible. I’m never going home.
Nine months on and I’m still very, very far from where I want to be surfing wise, but I’m closer than I ever have been! I understand the benefits of different boards for different conditions, study the wave forecast daily (probably at least twice a day really) talk to guests at my hostel about the conditions and different breaks up and down this section of Ecuadorian coastline, and can even give useful tips to people who are getting into the water for the first time – just like those surf dudes did to me when I first joined them in the lineup.
And still, just when I think I’m making real progress I’ll get shown who’s the boss by the ocean. But I’m like Rocky, I’ll keep coming back – I’m never going home: and it’s bloody cold in London this time of year.
Mike Davis – Director of Awesomeness, Casa del Sol